Headway Suffolk

Ipswich Hub 01473 712225

Bury Hub 01284 702535

Ebay for Headway Suffolk

The average UK home has 42 unwanted items worth an estimated £500, yet new data has revealed almost half of people admit to binning items they no longer need.

If you’re making use of lockdown by having a clear-out, you can sell your items on eBay and donate the proceeds to Headway Suffolk to help us deliver our services during this difficult time.

We aren’t registered on eBay but you can donate the sale value at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1002942.

Virtual Hub now available to new clients

Headway Suffolk is offering rehab and support to people with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions on the internet through its virtual hub.

As a result of Covid-19, Headway Suffolk’s day hubs have not been able to operate in the usual way. So that clients did not miss out on vital rehab, a virtual hub was created. Headway Suffolk now feels that it is in a position to offer this to members of the public with a brain injury, stroke or a neurological condition.

The charity’s CEO Helen Fairweather said: “We are delighted with our virtual hub, which operates every weekday. It has kept clients in touch with us and allowed their rehab to continue. It gives them something to look forward to.”

It is hoped in time usual day hubs will open. However, the virtual hubs may continue in the long term, especially for people who find coming into a hub difficult due to transport or fears of infection.

Anyone interested in accessing the virtual hub should contact Helen Fairweather on 01473 712225 or helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk  for details and for an assessment so people access the most useful group for them.

To see our full range of services available during the current pandemic, and how you can support us providing these, go to our coronavirus page.

Hats (at home) for Headway Day on Friday

Headway Suffolk is encouraging individuals and businesses to take part in the fun of Hats (at home) for Headway Day on Friday to show support for brain injury survivors.

Hats for Headway is a national campaign day to bring people together to get creative and design a hat, or simply find a funny and wacky one at home, and wear it on the day and share on social media with family, friends, colleagues and Headway’s across the country.

It’s a simple, fun and engaging way of raising awareness of brain injury and the services available by Headway.

The charity asks for just a £2 donation (or more if you can afford it), which can be made by card or paypal at virginmoneygiving.com/charities/headwaysuffolk.

There are also prizes available!

Share your photo on Facebook or Twitter, tag @HeadwaySuffolk in and use the hashtag #HatsforHeadway.

The winner of the best individual photo receives a cycle helmet from Hedkayse.

For companies, the best group photo (use a collage maker – don’t break social distancing rules) receives a full page advert in the national Headway News magazine by Headway UK.

For all Headway Suffolk clients, they are invited to a virtual coffee morning on Friday at 11.30am where wearing your hat is compulsory!

Anna feeling thankful for Headway on Giving Tuesday

As part of #GivingTuesdayNow, Anna Leggett is feeling thankful for the support of Headway Suffolk after suffering a brain injury in a road accident three and half years ago.

Anna, a mother of three from Waldringfield near Woodbridge, was involved in an accident in November 2016 when a Land Rover drove into the back of her car on the A137, which made her head jolt hard back and forwards and caused a concussion/mild diffuse axonal injury (DAI).

Headway Suffolk supported Anna in her first year of recovery with its rehab and therapy services, including an Understanding Brain Injury course, counselling and Brainy Dogs visits. She later made a substantial donation to thank the charity.

Anna said: “Thank you so much for the care and support you provided for me when I suffered a mild brain injury. It was fantastic and really helped my recovery.

“About nine months after my accident, Sophie paid us a couple of visits with Hope and Bee, two Brainy Dogs. This was a great pick me up for me and my three children – it really helped to take our minds off what had happened to me.

“We had so much fun with the dogs and were amazed at how clever they were. Chloe was also in the car with me when the accident happened and, although hasn’t been officially diagnosed, has displayed symptoms of suffering a concussion too.

“When my personal injury case was settled, I wanted to make a donation to Headway because I’m so grateful for what you provided during my first year of recovery.”

Headway Suffolk is asking for others to support its work on #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of unity in response to coronavirus and a chance to show appreciation to those who have helped others through this challenging time.

Headway Suffolk is continuing to support its clients during the current crisis, with homecare visits, a virtual hub, food deliveries, counselling, a helpline and remote Brainy Dogs therapy. Click to find out our full range of services available during the pandemic.

With the closure of its hubs and other therapy services, the charity has estimated it needs to raise £100,000 to cover the shortfall of the loss of services and fundraising events.

Donations can be made on its Coronavirus Appeal page at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/headwaysuffolkappeal or through other methods by calling 01473 712225.

After Headway, Anna received further rehab from an occupational therapist and a neuro psychologist, as well as input from a neuro physiotherapist at Ipswich Hospital.

Anna explained: “I also did a lot of my own work on diet, lifestyle, exercise and psychology, and I have made a good recovery.

“I’m amazed how much even a so called mild brain injury can affect a person. I still have to manage my symptoms day to day.

“My main symptoms still are fatigue, slower processing, some memory issues, some pain, muddling my word up when I’m tired and less flexible thinking.

“But overall I’m pretty good really and am so thankful for all the help and input I’ve had to get me back to where I am today, pretty much functioning normally most of the time.

“I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband and three lovely children who have been wonderful and very patient with me.

“We are managing well together with everything going on, though obviously it’s an unsettling time for everyone in the world right now.

“I’ve actually found that many of the skills I learned on my recovery journey are helpful in these new circumstances.

“It’s great to see that Headway are still able to provide some services to their clients.”

Last November, three years after her accident and to mark Road Safety Week, Anna and serious injury specialists CFG Law spoke to the East Anglian Daily Times: www.eadt.co.uk/news/anna-leggett-raises-awareness-of-road-safety-week-1-6378745.

In the article, Anna said: “It’s important people give the road their full attention when they’re behind the wheel. Even at slow speeds, accidents can cause significant injuries.

“My life following this accident has been completely changed. If the driver of the vehicle had been paying greater attention to what they were doing, this could easily have been avoided.

“I want to do anything I can to raise awareness of driving more safely, and it encourages me to know that something helpful and good can come out of my experience.”

Headway Suffolk launches Coronavirus Appeal

Staff at Headway Suffolk, who look after people with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions, are working round the clock to help its clients and members of the community to get through the Covid-19 crisis.

Helen Fairweather, CEO of Headway Suffolk, said:

“We have a positive attitude and are doing what we can in these difficult times to help our 275, clients and their families.

“Our home care team is working throughout the county helping people to stay well in their homes, assisting with personal care, medication and cooking.

“We have been asked by Social Care to take on many more clients than we normally would. This means we help multiple people. It helps the person to be discharged from hospital quickly, freeing up a bed for someone else who needs it. Our staff are amazing and going the extra mile.

“Like all care providers we are struggling to obtain masks and face shields to keep them safe.

“Sadly, our hubs are closed but we are keeping in touch with clients by phone and sending out activity packs to keep them stimulated.

“Our counsellors are offering counselling through Zoom. Many clients are struggling with fear, not seeing people and being isolated.

“Clients are not able to shop. Most do not have an oven as it is not safe for them to use one so rely on microwave meals. We have been unable to source ready meals so have decided to make own and to deliver them our clients. We will take other items of food and essential items to them. The charity would be grateful for food donations.

“We have had to cancel all our fundraising events this will have an affect on us.

“We have launched a fundraising appeal to keep the charity operational, to make up for lost funding and to carry out the additional work.

We are therefore launching an appeal for £100,000. People can donate at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/headwaysuffolkappeal.

Anyone with a neurological condition who would benefit from home care, telephone counselling or food deliveries, or members of the public who wish to donate money or food, should phone 01473 712225 or email helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

Go to our Coronavirus page for more details on the appeal and our services during the crisis.

Cycle Ride and Walk cancelled

We have taken the decision to unfortunately cancel our annual Cycle Ride and Walk planned on 16 May due to the coronavirus crisis.
We hope to be in a position to stage it in late summer/early autumn. We will keep everyone posted and thanks for your support.

Speedway star Sam Norris to talk at Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to announce speedway rider Sam Norris and his parents as keynote speakers for its sixth Neuro Conference on 7 October at Wherstead Park.

Sam, who is 16, had to relearn to walk and talk again after sustaining a severe and traumatic brain injury in June last year and was left in a coma when a bike struck his head while racing in a British Youth Championship in Glasgow. At the time, he was 15 and part of the Mildenhall squad.

His recovery has been described as miraculous by medics as he has worked on his balance, coordination, fitness, speech and cognition with astounding determination through his rehab at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Children’s Trust.

Sam, who lives in Linton, near Haverhill, returned to school in November and will sit six GCSEs in the summer. In February, he achieved his goal of racing his bike again – just eight months after the crash.

Fatigue is a very common effect after brain injury and it’s something Sam has to manage every day. He is keen to highlight the importance fitness can play in recovery.

Sam said: “I want to raise awareness of how much a brain injury can suddenly change your life and how fitness is key to improving and that you can turn it into a positive. It also helps mentality because you feel good about yourself that you can do it.

“You have to have determination to get better from brain injury. That’s the reason I got better because I was determined and fit. It shows you how key fitness is.

“I had such a brain injury that the medics in Glasgow (Royal Hospital for Children) said if I wasn’t as fit and determined, I may not have survived or got better as quickly as I have.

“I go to the gym every day at school and I do my fitness routine at home every night. I have more energy in the evening because I’ve rested for longer as I’ve put my mind to resting and how much it is key to a traumatic brain injury like mine.”


Sam’s parents, mum Claire and dad Chris, are now reflecting on the past nine months and want to highlight important issues by sharing their experience.

Claire, a special needs teaching assistant and intervener, said: “For Sam, like a lot of other people when they eventually recover, it’s a hidden injury, so it’s important to raise awareness of that.

“It’s a life-changing injury. You’ll always be brain damaged but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve. Raising awareness is turning a bad experience into a positive.

“Fatigue is Sam’s main difficulty. When he’s tired, his speech and thought process is slower and that affects everything else, normal things like walking.

“It’s great for Sam because he’s recovering and is looking forward. He has spurred on and encouraged other children in rehab and they’ve ended up walking after being in a wheelchair.

“Chris and I are reflecting and looking back. It’s a traumatic experience to go through and I can’t praise the Glasgow medics enough because they saved his life.

“Some of the things we’ve seen are really heart-breaking. No-one prepares you for that and you end up supporting other parents. It’s very overwhelming and emotional.”

“We’ve met quite a few children who haven’t worn cycle helmets because it’s not cool and we’ve seen what happens. We’ve also met people whose helmet hasn’t fit properly, so they’re on a quad bike and they’ve had their brain injury through the helmet coming off. So it’s raising awareness around the importance of safety.”


David Crane, Headway Suffolk’s communications and marketing officer, said: “Sam’s courage and willpower has seen him make an incredible recovery from a very severe brain injury and he is a great example to others of what you can achieve with determination and positivity.

“Claire and Chris have also been integral to Sam’s progress and we are very excited they will be sharing their inspirational story at our Neuro Conference and highlighting important messages about hidden effects after brain injury and taking sensible safety measures.”

Headway Suffolk has attracted great interest in its conferences, which last year featured broadcasting legend Chris Tarrant talking about his life after a stroke.

Previous speakers have included TV health expert Robert Winston, author Jane Hawking, famed scientist Stephen Hawking and local brain injury survivor Andrew Renton.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with professional keynote speakers on brain injury, stroke, dementia, brain injury and neurology, as well as hearing about Headway Suffolk services and future projects.

Tickets, priced at £40 each, can be purchased by telephoning the charity on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.


Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions and their families through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are and its physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

According to statistics by Headway UK, there were 3,201 admissions (8.7 per day) to hospital in Suffolk with a brain injury in 2016-17. Head injury was the most prevalent cause (41.18%) with 1,318 (789 male, 529 female). This include is any injury that results in a trauma to the brain – typically road traffic accident, assault, fall or accident.

Home Care support available during coronavirus crisis

Our home care team continue to provide vital support to our clients with daily living skills and rehab at home.

We can offer short-term contracts to anyone wanting to work in home care. No experience is necessary as training will be given.

If you or someone you know needs help at home, or you would like to join our team, contact us on 01473 712225 or email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

During the coronavirus crisis, our Ipswich hub remains open and is following stringent infection control and social distancing measures.

Click to see our list of services available during the coronavirus crisis.

Brainy Dogs Remote Support

Are you in isolation? Would you like something to look forward to? Then let the dogs bring a bit of joy into your life at the time it is needed the most!

We know this is a scary time for a lot of you and many of you face social isolation.

At Brainy Dogs we try and be as flexible as possible and we hope we can help you through it.

If you would like this remote temporary service then please complete this application form and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Group closures due to coronavirus

The following groups are closed until further notice:

  • Bury St Edmunds (Mon – Fri)
  • Haverhill (Wednesday)
  • Felixstowe (Monday)
  • Aldeburgh (Tuesday)
  • Eye (Tuesday)
  • Dementia Ipswich (2nd Friday)
  • Dementia Martlesham (4th Thursday)
  • Dementia Castle Hill (4th Friday)